5th October 2020

SUPPORT for a bold and fresh approach to rebuilding the Ayrshire economy has today (Monday) received significant support from major public bodies.

North Ayrshire Council’s Community Wealth Building Strategy was launched in May and outlined a bold new economic model with a focus on wellbeing and inclusion to reduce poverty and inequality in the region.

Central to the new way of thinking was the support of other major Ayrshire Anchor organisations who, like North Ayrshire Council, will use their local spending power to generate wealth in the area.

And today North Ayrshire Council, East Ayrshire Council, South Ayrshire Council, NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Ayrshire College and Scottish Enterprise signed Scotland’s first Community Wealth Building Charter.

By signing the Charter, the organisations are pledging to do all they can to support the principles of the Community Wealth Building approach.

These include supporting more local business to bid for public sector contracts with each agreeing to increase their spend locally where possible.

There will also be a review of all land and property to see how it can be used more efficiently to support communities and enterprises to help them grow.

Those signing the Charter have also pledged to prioritise fair employment and environmental sustainability.

Councillor Joe Cullinane, Leader of North Ayrshire Council, said: “Community Wealth Building is about working in partnership with communities and businesses to build a strong local economy which supports fair work, encourages local spend and uses the land and property we own for the common good so that wealth stays local.

“The commitment of East Ayrshire Council, South Ayrshire Council, Ayrshire College, NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Scottish Enterprise, alongside North Ayrshire Council, to deliver the Community Wealth Building approach is a landmark moment in our Community Wealth Building journey.

“It is particularly significant that we are launching this Charter during Challenge Poverty Week. Ayrshire suffers from significant levels of poverty and inequality so it is clear new approaches like Community Wealth Building are needed

“We hope that in coming months more of the region’s major Anchor Institutions will commit to the Charter and together we can build back better, fairer and greener.”

Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader of East Ayrshire Council, said: “The focus and principles of Community Wealth Building are consistent with the ambitions of the East Ayrshire Community Plan.

“It gives us a real opportunity to work beyond our traditional boundaries for the greater good of our region, and knowing many of the people involved and the commitment and determination which we can bring to the table, I believe that better times lie ahead for all our communities.”

Lesley Bowie, Board Chair, NHS Ayrshire and Arran, added: “I’m delighted that NHS Ayrshire & Arran, as an Anchor Institution, is part of this progressive and transformative Community Wealth Building Strategy aiming to improve local economic development and benefitting local people.”

Mark Newlands, Head of Partnerships, Scottish Enterprise, added: “Scottish Enterprise is proud to support the Anchor Charter launch event. As a member of the Ayrshire Community Wealth Building Commission we look forward to working with partners across Ayrshire to deliver on the ambitions of Scotland’s first Community Wealth Building Strategy.”

Carol Turnbull, Principal at Ayrshire College added: “Ayrshire College is committed to supporting inclusive economic growth through the delivery of professional, technical and vocational skills and by providing learning opportunities for all.  We are delighted to be part of this innovative Wealth Building Strategy that will provide opportunities for local people through economic development. “

Councillor Peter Henderson, Leader of South Ayrshire Council  said: “South Ayrshire Council is delighted to be part of the Community Wealth Building Commission and look forward to working with our partners and fellow Anchor Institutions, across Ayrshire, in delivering the pledges of the Anchor Charter and creating a strong, resilient and inclusive local and regional economy.”

The Charter is available here